Get ready to shake, rattle and roll. The 27th annual Redwood Coast Music Festival gets into full swing March 30-April 2, swelling the city of Eureka with 30 bands at six venues performing 100 sets of live music. Add to that the throngs of people who come from all over to experience one of the best music and dancing festivals in the country.
The event (which started out as a Dixieland jazz fest), now serves up swing, zydeco, blues, Cajun, hot jazz, rockabilly, country and hip-hop. Catering to the large blues music base in the area, event organizers have expanded the blues shows and moved them to the event's largest venue, the Eureka Municipal Auditorium. Legendary blues masters Duke Robillard ("One of God's guitarists" and here for the first Blues by the Bay in '97) and James Harman bring the heat to the Muni for Blues Legends Night, Friday Mar. 31 at 5 to 11:30 p.m. Also performing are Nathan James & The Rhythm Scratchers with Carl Sonny Leyland and Two Tone Steiny & The Cadillacs. Then on Saturday, April 1, headliners Michael Doucet with Tom Rigney & Flambeau light it up from 5 p.m. to midnight at the Saturday Blues Show, which also features Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Kenny Neal and Gator Nation.
New this year, Matt Beard, who designed the event's 2017 poster, is setting up shop during Saturday night's blues show at the Muni, painting to live music. He'll also be painting at the Morris Graves Museum of Art on Friday and Saturday during the day. The seven canvasses he'll paint will be auctioned off with a portion of the proceeds going to charity.
With so many bands and events (and such limited space here), you'll want the full run down at www.rcmfest.org to plan your weekend and purchase tickets.